It’s Week 4 of high school football in Central Pennsylvania, which means most teams have wrapped up the non-league portion of their schedules and are beginning to take on their division foes.
There are some intriguing matchups on tap this week, none more than the York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association Section 3 clash between Littlestown and York Catholic, which will be the FOX43 High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week.
Here’s a look at that showdown, plus four other games to keep an eye on in Central PA this week.
FOX43 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRENZY GAME OF THE WEEK
Littlestown (3-0) at York Catholic (3-0)
The FOX43 Game of the Week features two of the three remaining unbeaten teams in Section 3 of the York-Adams league.
Littlestown comes into the game with one of the league’s top offenses, averaging 405 yards and 34.7 points per game, both of which rank fourth in the YAIAA. Quarterback Jakob Lane has completed 40 of 63 passes for 527 yards and three touchdowns, while wideout Brady McClintock has hauled in nine catches for 217 yards. Running back Jason Penton averages 7.3 yards per carry (29-243), and has scored six times, which ties him for the second-highest TD total in the league.
The Thunderbolts also have one of the league’s top defenses, allowing just 243 yards and 19 points per game.
York Catholic is coming off a weird, lightning-delayed victory over Susquehannock. The two teams played the first half of their game last Friday, but approaching lightning forced them to wait until Monday night to finish it. The Fighting Irish eventually pulled out a 24-3 triumph, allowing just 91 total yards.
Last week’s game had an interesting subplot, as York Catholic played it without sophomore quarterback Mitchell Galentine, who started the Irish’s first two games after transferring from Eastern York. Also absent was running back Cole Witman, the son of former Eastern York and Penn State star and NFL standout Jon Witman.
The York Dispatch reported that Catholic coach Eric Depew would not comment on the absence of his missing starters, or how long it would last.
In their absence, last year’s incumbent signal caller, Wes Burns, returned to the lineup and threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns and running back Massimo Antolick carried the ball 16 times for 73 yards and another score.
OTHER GAMES TO WATCH
Wilson (2-1) at Manheim Central (3-0)
This is a battle between the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s two most dominant teams. Wilson has captured the L-L League Section 1 championship 25 times, and won a Section 2 crown in 1999. Manheim Central is a 24-time champion in Section 2. The two programs have also earned 23 District 3 championships between them in their respective PIAA classifications.
This is the first time the two teams have met since 2011, when the Bulldogs knocked off the Barons 27-13. Wilson holds a 6-3 edge in the all-time series.
This year, Wilson enters Rettew Stadium on a two-game winning streak after dropping a 23-7 decision to Central Dauphin in its season opener. Manheim Central is undefeated, coming off a hard-fought 27-20 victory over Warwick last week.
The Bulldogs’ priority will be slowing down Central QB Evan Simon, who has completed 26 of 44 passes for 477 yards and four touchdowns, and RB Tyler Flick, who currently ranks third in the L-L League in rushing with 383 yards and seven touchdowns on 68 carries.
Central also leads Section 2 in team defense, allowing just 184 yards per game. The Barons’ 27 points allowed is the third-lowest in the league.
Wilson’s offense counters with first-year QB Anthony Futrick (43-for-78, 460 yards, four TDs) and RB Elijah Morales (37-319, four TDs).
West Perry (3-0) at Greencastle-Antrim (2-1)
West Perry is off to a torrid start, outscoring its first three opponents 152-22. Quarterback Kenyon Johnson has completed 14 of 22 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, and leads the team in rushing with 250 yards and four TDs on 24 attempts.
Terrance Quaker has 233 yards and seven scores on just 13 carries for the Mustangs. Last week, in West Perry’s 56-16 rout of Gettysburg, he had 130 yards and two TDs on four carries, an 85-yard interception return for a score, a 38-yard TD on a punt return, and a 22-yard TD catch.
Quaker also has an 84-yard TD kickoff return and a 30-yard interception return for another score in West Perry’s first two games. That brings his touchdown total for the first three games to 11.
Greencastle-Antrim dropped its season opener against Chambersburg, falling 48-13, but has won two in a row since — and by a combined margin of 85-7. Quarterback Max McDowell has completed 22 of 43 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns, and is second on the team in rushing with 131 yards and three scores on 28 carries. Wes Medina has 144 yards and three TDs on eight rushes.
Carlisle (3-0) at State College (3-0)
It’s a battle of two of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth division as the Little Lions host the Thundering Herd. State College, fresh off its 49-22 thrashing of Hollidaysburg last week, is averaging just under 260 yards of offense per game. Quarterback Tommy Friberg has completed 25 of 41 passes for 493 yards and five TDs in his first three games; his scoring tosses have gone to wideouts Cohen Russel (5-263, three TDs) and Keaton Ellis (6-100, two TDs).
Carlisle wrapped blowout wins over Mechanicsburg (46-7) and South Western (35-7) around a nail-biter against Northeastern (10-6). The Thundering Herd’s offensive numbers don’t leap off the page, but their defense has scored two touchdowns and a safety in their first three games.
Quarterback Cole Wolaver has completed 19 of 37 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns, while top rusher Trystan Sulich (44-279) has found the end zone five times.
Red Lion (2-1) at Central York (3-0)
Central York is coming off a thrilling 35-31 victory over Hempfield last week in a game that was decided by Cade Pribula’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Wright-Rawls with 5.8 seconds left in the game. The TD strike capped a fantastic evening for Pribula, a University of Delaware recruit, who finished the game with three touchdown passes and 399 yards on 16-of-26 passing. He also rushed for two touchdowns to help the Panthers remain unbeaten.
Pribula has completed 37 of 62 passes for 944 yards and eight TDs in his first three games. His passing yards and TD numbers lead the league.
Mason Myers also had a stellar night for Central, snagging two interceptions and deflecting a fourth-down pass to thwart another Hempfield drive.
Red Lion suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling 28-19 to Chambersburg. The Lions took a 19-14 advantage on an 80-yard interception return by Brady Stumbaugh in the second half, but Chambersburg tacked on two unanswered touchdowns to pull out the game.
Quarterback Zach Mentzer has completed 38 of 62 passes for 431 yards and six touchdowns. Tyler Ness is the team’s top rusher, with 184 yards and three TDs on 38 carries.
The Lions rank third in the York-Adams league in team defense (237 yards per game) and are fifth in scoring defense (18 points per game). Central York has struggled on that side of the ball, allowing 352 yards and 19.7 points per game.